Semiconductor heterojunction photocatalysts: design, construction, and photocatalytic performances
Semiconductor-mediated photocatalysis has received tremendous attention as it holds great promise to address the worldwide energy and environmental issues. To overcome the serious drawbacks of fast charge recombination and the limited visible-light absorption of semiconductor photocatalysts, many strategies have been developed in the past few decades and the most widely used one is to develop photocatalytic heterojunctions. This review attempts to summarize the recent progress in the rational design and fabrication of heterojunction photocatalysts, such as the semiconductor–semiconductor heterojunction, the semiconductor–metal heterojunction, the semiconductor–carbon heterojunction and the multicomponent heterojunction. The photocatalytic properties of the four junction systems are also discussed in relation to the environmental and energy applications, such as degradation of pollutants, hydrogen generation and photocatalytic disinfection. This tutorial review ends with a summary and some perspectives on the challenges and new directions in this exciting and still emerging area of research.